May 20, 2011

Ice Cream (Bing Kee Ling Koo Koo) Flask in Belawai

1950's and 1960's street scenes in Sibu........


Ais klim...ais klim....ais klim....beli beli ais klim....(Bahasa Malaysia)cried out an ice cream vendor cycling down the kampong road.


Bing kii lin bing kii lin ...bin kii lin....ke li meh ke li meh....(Foochow pinyin) cried out an old man selling ice cream from a single flask on foot at the same time ringing a hand held bell.


Scream! Scream! cried out an old man sitting on the st eps of the Lido cinema.....


All the flasks would have the Sibu made ice cream potong or bing tiaw or ice lollipops...I liked the ones with red beans in them or the lime flavoured ones....But money was tight.

Fifty years ago I was terrified of a few things. I was terrified of  my Dad  who was a man of few words. And the very little he said would frighten me.

One was " If you don't study hard...you will have to sell ice cream like the Ah Pek there...."

The other one was..." You like to eat all these "rubbish" outside there (like the ice potong) I will sell you to the icecream seller.....!"

I believe all of us were brought up in different ways and our parents taught us in whatever ways they could. Basically most of the Foochow parents "taught" by fear .

Actually my Dad taught us in many different ways too. Like using stories during dinner time. Or he would laugh whil reading and then turned to us to relate a good moral story. He bought us children's magazines which impacted us morally and socially. Some how these episodes are very vivid in my mind.

This ice cream episode was particularly memorable.  And  strangely for many decades I coveted an ice cream flask like this one. Although I never did get a chance to buy one as I would not have any use of it....since I would not have to sell ice cream any way...furthermore this kind of flask went out of fashion as technology improved by leaps and bound. Now if I can  buy one even a second hand one would do...I will use it to teach my grand children one day....(if it can still work!!)


Last week my great Sibu  journalist friends (Steve Ling and Yang Yi Fang) took me to Belawai using the new road from Sibu and the journey was less than 1 hour's drive. It was a memorable trip...and many things surprised me .

What was most precious to me? this photo...YES indeed 50 years later to prove my father wrong and not to disappoint him I have not become an ice cream seller and in fact I am very much like him...a published writer...a "some kind of photographer" and an academically inclined English teacher....and I love reading magazines like him. .

I believe strongly that he did impart to me a very severe lesson on what to be when I grew up. The ice cream flask was a symbolic catalyst in my mental and emotional development !!

(Actually I had wanted to be more than what I had become .  Because he died early and I had to obtain a scholarship to study anything became a teacher. We had no other means other than a scholarship to help me obtain a good education. Thanks to all my teachers who helped me and my mother who knew that a good education was the only way to a better future. Most mothers in those days had tears in their daily bowls of rice.)

15 comments:

wenn said...

my dad didn't see me as a teacher too.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn
We will never pay enough tribute to our parents and teachers for teaching us to be what we can be....I will always remember with gratitude the ice cream sellers....But then today I also think what enterprise we could develop from a single flask of ice cream if we have the right combination in business!!

Ann said...

Icecream seller not too bad, you are yr own boss, my parents always say you become a garbage collector.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, ha ha, I like this posting.
It brought back my own memories too, of a man selling this 'ice cream potong' from a flask, for 5 cents....this before Merdeka.
And love the ones with red beans or jagung inside.
Also love the fellow on his bicycle, he had a kind of roulette wheel on the back.
Spin the wheel for 5 cents, if it lands on 3, the friends get a free treat, ha ha.
God posting....
Have fun, keep well.
Lee.

Anonymous said...

be it ice creamer seller or garbage collector, they all contributed to our society. i think we should not belittle these people. i am sure some of their kids became great people.

Anonymous said...

Ann
Yes in the language of those days Dad wanted us to be more than a person making a living out of one flask of icecream...Garbage collector...actually there is one contractor in Miri who owns lots of garbage truck and is a millionair...well said to the anonymous commentator...

Sarawakiana..

Anonymous said...

Uncle Lee...hahah we liked the same ice cream potong...with red beans. I still cook my own red bean soup to this day...thanks for visiting.

Sarawakiana

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...sorry to say my father was not laughing at the icecream seller..he just wanted to point out a real example to us kids...may be by today's politically correct language he was off the line a little...but he did frighten us...
I know to day many well known brands of ice cream make millions every year ....thanks for pointing that out..

Sarawakiana

Ah Ngao said...

i think in Kuching no more liao.few years back,still got one Ah Pek using this thermos-type ice cream containers on a bicycle.i think he's " The Last of The Mohican's"

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi..Ah Ngao...Yes..this breed of the Ice Cream Flask carrying ice cream sellers are disappearing because cooler box can contain more and motor bikes have replaced the our two legs....Technology ha been changing!!

Brunei has beautiful vans with music selling ice cream like the American ones....

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